Ukraine Reports Accident at Nuclear Plant, Energy Minister Says 'No Threat'
An accident at Ukraine’s Zaporizhye nuclear power plant has forced the shutdown of a reactor but posed no danger, government officials said on Wednesday.
Ukrainian Prime minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said a 1,000-megawatt reactor at the power plant in southeastern Ukraine had been shut down following an unspecified accident on November 28 and asked Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn to hold a press briefing on the issue.
"I know that an accident has occurred at the Zaporizhye NPP," Reuters quoted Yatsenyuk as saying.
Demchyshyn then told a briefing that the accident posed no danger to the population and that the plant would resume operations as normal on Friday.
"There is no threat ... there are no problems with the reactors," Reuters quoted Demchyshyn as saying. He didn’t elaborate on the cause of the accident.
According to Interfax Ukraine news agency, the accident has deepened the power crisis in the country.
Faced with fuel shortages this winter as a result of a suspension of Russian gas deliveries and ongoing fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in its coal-mining eastern regions, Ukraine is forced to rely more on its nuclear power plants, which generate about half of its electricity, to meet its energy needs.
Zaporizhye is Ukraine's largest nuclear power plant, and the fifth-largest in the world. Its six reactors provide about 43% of Ukraine's nuclear energy output.
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